If Marjane Satrapi, or Persepolis does not mean anything to you, have you still heard of the Islamist Revolution? Yes or no, Marjane Satrapi’s Persepolis, a graphic novel written mainly from the perspective of a little girl in the war-ridden Iran, is a piece of phenomenon. Immediately after reading the book, I also saw the movie.
Adults end up talking about their own problems all the time. A child’s mind works differently. And then again, privilege of any kind blinds one to the world on the other side. The world, where removing hijab when there’s cool breeze, and giggling with the winds and girlfriends becomes an act of courage and freedom. And things like that.
The playful words of the little girl make you chuckle, and at the same time stab at your heart. Marjane’s extremely few privileges were her super family, her own sense of freedom, and the choices she made. Like her granny says – “Everyone always has a choice. Always!”
While I was reading the book, I wondered if all the progress we are making on one side of the world, all the fun we are having, all the extravaganza, is needed, when on the other side a little girl dies because her father was a communist, a woman dies for having worn lipstick or shown a few strands of hair, or a teenager boy dies simply for being one. And then you see people fighting for their freedom, laying down their lives, so they could wear lipstick, drink wine, hold their lover’s hand, listen to the music they like, and opine their opinions. That’s when you know, that one needs these things, to know their importance. If you don’t, you become North Korea. Before any sort of segue, here’s one of my favourite scenes from both the book, and the movie:
PS: Before you start counting your misfortunes, count your privileges, and know them well.